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BOTOLPH or BOTULF (d. 680), saint, according to a life found by Mabillon, and attributed by him to Folcard, abbot of Thorney soon after the Conquest, was born of noble parents early in the seventh century, and brought up as a christian. He was sent with his brother Adulf to Germany to be more fully instructed in religion, where they became monks of the order of St. Benedict. Adulf or St. Adolph is said to have become bishop of Utrecht, although no such name occurs in the succession of the diocese. Botulf returned to England, and having been recommended to the favour of Æthelmund, an unknown king of the Smith Angles, by the two sisters of that prince, who were receiving instruction in religious discipline in the monastery of which Botulf was an inmate, he obtained from Æthelmund a site on which to erect a monastery. This he began to build in 654 (Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) at Ikanho. The situation of this monastery is now uncertain. It is generally supposed to have been on the river Witham, on which stands the town of Boston, the church of which is dedicated to St. Botolph, and whose name is an abbreviated form of Botolph’s town. He is said to have died in 680, and was commemorated on 17 June. His relics were distributed by Æthelwold, bishop of Winchester, 963–84, amongst the monasteries of Ely, Westminster, and Thorney. Ten churches in Norfolk, and more than fifty in England, are dedicated to him.

[Anglo-Saxon Chronicle; Folcard's Vita Sancti Botulti; Mabillon's Acta Sanctorum Ordinis S. Benedicti, 1734 (iii, i. 1-7); Leland's Itinerary, and De Rebus Britannicis Collectanea; Willis's History of the Mitred Parliamentary Abbeys, &c., London, 1718; Sir T. D. Hardy's Descriptive Catalogue of Materials relating to the History of Great Britain and Ireland, i. 373–5.]

A. H. G.